TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey is halting recent regulations to limit the number of events craft breweries in the state can host.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division on Tuesday said it would suspend the Sept. 21 regulations and meet with stakeholders to address their concerns.
It’s an about-face from new regulations last month that limited the state’s roughly 90 microbreweries to 25 on-site activities each year, like trivia nights or live performances.
“I’m feeling great about it,” said Bob Hochgertel of King’s Road Brewing Company. “They’re going back to the table and going to revisit some of the items that have been of most concern.”
He says microbreweries, even his competitors, are important.
“It helps to bolster the restaurants that are nearby. People come and shop in our shops and eat in our restaurants and they drink in our brewery,” he says.
The rule also said they could not give takeout menus from restaurants or host more than 52 private parties a year, or show sports on TV unless it counted as such an event.
“I think it’s important that anybody that sells controlled substance have regulations,” said Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, in an interview with CBS3 last week.
“There’s been, quite honestly, some breweries that have been operating outside the intent of the legislation by operating like a bar and you know if you want to operate like a bar than get a license like everybody else has to,” Halvorsen added.
Hochgertel says he’s focused on brewing beer and waiting for new guidance from the State of New Jersey.
“I hope it happens sooner than later because it does kind of slow you down. You don’t want to do anything and are told later that’s not gonna be allowed,”
The decision to suspend the new regulation comes after lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy expressed skepticism over the new rules.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)